[Startup story] CPV Lab | Fall edition of Rubik Garage Accelerator 2022
April 3, 2023
First of all, we would like to know who’s behind the keyboard.
Hi! This is Julia! I’m the CEO and co-founder at CPV Lab, a performance marketing tracker.
I’m a mum 🙂 with a degree in Computer Science and Economics, I’ve worked as developer, project manager, analyst… so I know all the cycles of developing and supporting Software.
In the last couple of years, I worked as an entrepreneur, which is one of the most complex positions I had so far… and the most fulfilling!
Tell us more about your startup. What problem do you solve? Who’s your audience?
CPV Lab is a marketing tracker. It helps marketers track, test, optimize and control all their marketing campaigns from one single place.
To be more specific: nowadays, omnichannel marketing is the thing. Every business wants to be present everywhere that its customers are: social media, Google, TikTok, blogs, and affiliates. A 3rd party ad tracker like CPV Lab will track all these marketing channels and show the results in one single place. Plus you can do split testing, redirects, optimize and test different funnels from the tracker.
Our main customers are affiliate marketers, but in the last year, we have also helped e-commerce stores, SaaS owners, marketing agencies, and other small businesses. Which makes us really happy and confident that our solution is a good one.
If you are not familiar with affiliate marketing, I will try to explain very quickly. An affiliate marketer promotes offers from others (usually from affiliate networks) and he needs data from 2 places: cost (with the traffic) and revenue (from the sales). To be performant, an affiliate marketer needs to spend less on traffic and get more commissions. Simple, right?
Well, to make performance it also involves a lot of testing and optimizations to be done inside campaigns, and that is where an affiliate marketing tracker like CPV Lab is helping. Plus, you get to see all the data, costs, revenues and a ton of other information, in the same dashboard.
So, yes, it is quite normal for affiliates to use a tracker.
What motivated you to create this startup? What’s your „why”?
My partner, the other co-founder, is the one that started the project. He started it as a side project together with a partner from the US. They were running affiliate marketing campaigns and needed a tool to track them and stop using spreadsheets to monitor their performance. They found out that there are others that need such a tool and my partner started developing it.
At some point, there was just my partner left with the project and that’s when I came in as a co-founder and we decided to work on it full-time. So, I was not part of the initial idea, the other half of the current founding team was.
Let me mention that my partner is also my husband, so I could say that I was aware of the project since it was in the idea stage.🙂
How is your startup different from competitors?
Well, first of all, our tracker is very customizable… which means it can track all kinds of marketing funnels, no matter how complex they are. Until now, we found just 2 types of funnels that we couldn’t configure… yet!
And, apart from this customizable part, we also come with other competitive advantages like:
- The only tracker available both as self-hosted and cloud-hosted (with CPV One)
- Multivariate testing tool integrated
- API integrations and detailed reports
- Campaigns Automations via AI – soon to be done
We’re curious to learn about your team.
We are a very small but ambitious team!
As co-founders, we have me and my partner, Radu. But we also have other colleagues that I consider our partners as well. As we work 100% remotely, the team is spread all over the world. We have colleagues from Ukraine and Serbia on development, colleagues from Poland on cloud infrastructure, and recently we started working with somebody from the Philippines.
We are looking now to find another team member, I would like to find somebody that could join us as a co-founder on the marketing side. I know, ironically, we are a marketing tool but currently we are missing a dedicated CMO. I am confident though that we will find the appropriate colleague soon.
What are the biggest rewards of being a startup founder?
Well, I love being a founder. Entrepreneurship can be tough and rewarding at the same time. And I truly believe that it is not for everyone… which is perfectly fine. To be an entrepreneur, you need to get internal energy to continue and motivate the team even during difficult times.
I am a fan of making lists, so I will list a few of the things I like the most about being a founder:
- Wearing different hats: learning from all different departments of a company (support, development, marketing, sales, etc)
- Owning my time and deciding when to work
- Taking responsibility for my decisions
- Picking the team that best matches our vision
- Deciding when and what to do in different areas of a business: who to partner with, what kind of promotions to run, what new features to bring, etc.
Being a founder can be exhausting… It takes a lot of energy. And, from my experience, my job never ends when I leave my computer because I’m constantly thinking about new ways of growing.
Sometimes, when I am going to the playground with my kids, I can get an idea and I have to note it right away to make sure I will not forget it.
On the contrary, what are the biggest challenges?
The biggest challenges are also some of the things I like.
Decisions. Knowing that based on your decisions you can go one way or the other and that can affect other team members as well. Tons of responsibilities!
Also, finding the right team members and managing the funds to be able to keep the team and the project going. That’s a challenge as well.
What made you apply to our accelerator Alpha USA Startups (fall edition of Rubik Garage)?
We have most of our customers in the USA, so our natural next step is to focus on that market. That is why we are thinking about opening a company in the USA and we wanted to learn as much as possible about that market.
Also, I’ve heard great things about the Rubik Accelerator and I wanted to try it out.
Obviously, you were selected in this accelerator because you are targeting the USA market. Why is that?
We have more than 40% of our users in the US, so this is our target market for the next year.
What are your top 3 learnings of the acceleration program?
Here are my top learnings:
- Understanding what a C Corp is and how to open it
- VCs are looking for unicorns, not businesses
- Month-to-month customer acquisition should be measured
How was Demo Day for you?
It was an interesting day as I got to personally meet some of the people attending the accelerator. As the entire program was online, it was nice to meet everybody and see that some are taller/shorter than I thought. 🙂
Also, I’ve met some very nice founders during that Demo Day.
What do you like in the Rubikorns Startup Community?
I like the friendliness of the team and their willingness to help. It is really nice to see that they are genuinely friendly and want to help us.
Love the Rubikhub moto and I fully support it: #WeAreInThisTogether
What message do you have for other startup founders?
If you are just starting your business, you can be part of the Rubik Hub accelerator to make sure that you have all the notions in place. I decided to join an accelerator after we bootstrapped our product for 4 years… which I kind of regret now.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?
Yes, if you know a very good marketer for SaaS products, with experience and who is willing to join our team as a co-founder, let us know!
And if you have a business, don’t forget to track your marketing! Because you need data to be performant!
Stay tuned to discover the story behind the other startups from our accelerator! #WeAreInThisTogether
Rubik Garage is an equity-free acceleration program aiming to support startups from CEE get to their first paying customer, raise investment or go international.